Peggy Mayes doesn't need much help.
The 84-year-old Hurst woman lives in an apartment, so she doesn't have to do yardwork or house repairs. She likes spicy food, so she cooks for herself. She goes grocery shopping with a friend who drives.
About the only thing a Hurst-based organization can do for Mayes is take her to a monthly doctor's appointment. And for that, she's grateful.
"I would not take nothing in the world for Mid-Cities Care Corps," she said. "I wouldn't have lived out here as long as I have without them, because there's no bus service."
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Driving clients to and from medical appointments is how the organization that's celebrating its 30th year got started, said its executive director, Duane Buuck.
"It began with two social workers in 1981 who saw [older residents'] need for transportation," he said. "They got a donation of $60 from two churches, and that was the beginning."
Mid-Cities Care Corps' expanding services are designed to preserve clients' independence in communities that include Haltom City, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine, Keller and Southlake.
Volunteers, whose backgrounds are checked, also take clients on quality-of-life drives for grocery shopping, banking and other essential errands, Buuck added.
Drivers sometimes see opportunities for another branch of helpers, Buuck said. "Bridging the Generations is one of the missions we're trying to build," he said.
For the initiative, younger volunteers go to the homes of elderly residents to do odd jobs, from changing a light bulb to building a wheelchair ramp. Before they leave, the workers plant a flat of flowers wherever the client wants them. That ensures interaction between the generations.
The program's beauty is that the volunteers get experience and "a genuine thank you, maybe a hug, for raking leaves, trimming shrubs, painting a house," Buuck said.
Volunteer coordinator Ann Marie Brannan went with a Keystone Church young adult group to a Keller client's house, where they expected to fix a few screens but ended up doing yardwork.
"Her whole front yard was like an English garden," she said.
As soon as the group finished tasks that included cleaning out and mulching overgrown beds, they asked for another project, Brannon said.
Holiday Outreach also brings people together, Buuck said. "We collect gifts for the young-at-heart seniors and distribute holiday baskets with significant Christmas gifts like blankets, socks, slippers, lotions and bathroom items," he said.
"I get a Christmas basket every year, and I look forward to it," Mayes said. "That's my Christmas."
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620